The absence of an American Telco in the second largest and fastest growing market in the world has left Uncle Sam worried. Russia’s Sistema, Europe’s Vodafone and TelNor, Malaysia’s Maxis & Telekom Malayasia, Singapore’s SingTel, Japan’s DoCoMo and UAE’s Etisalat have all established presence in the Indian Wireless market which is entering a new era in 2009 with the auction of 3G licenses – Telecom 3.0.
US has been lobbying for the re-entry of AT&T [ AT&T was a part of Idea Cellular and exited India in 2005 ] in India and wants 100% FDI in Telecom. Uncle Sam should know that companies around the world have accepted Indian Telecom Policy and have stuck to the 74% FDI which was seconded by various Indian agencies [TRAI, Telecom Comission, DoT etc] in the interest of national security.
US Telcos should be thankful that DoT for letting them participate in the 3G and WiMax Broadband Spectrum Auction as the same is opposed by TRAI. Additionally, DoT is encashing on the demand and is asking for a hefty license fee of USD 400 mn to get the basic license upon which operators can provide services.
American companies need to be considerate and open while doing business in India. Yes I am referring to Qualcomm’s arrogance towards Indian CDMA operators in 2006 who have since then started shifting to GSM. It is unlikely that American requests will be honored by the DoT as the rest of the world has endorsed Indian policies.